posted on Thursday, May 1, 2014
“But as they were sailing, He fell off to sleep. And a whirlwind revolving from below upwards swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in great danger.” - Luke 8:23 (Amp)
The passage quoted above describes a circumstance wherein the disciples and Jesus were caught in a storm while sailing on a lake. Jesus had requested that they sail to the other side of the lake, and on the voyage, He fell asleep. A great storm engulfed the vessel and the boat filled with water; they were going to sink. Certainly, the disciples feared for their lives, as the only thing they could see was the impossibility of surviving in the midst of those dire circumstances.
My first thought in reading this passage was … how tired must Jesus have been to be able to sleep through that? I wish I could sleep that soundly. That aside, I sympathized with the disciples. They saw and heard and experienced the panic of a life threatening circumstance. I am sure they tried everything in their power to keep the water out of the boat and navigate the storm. They did not wake Jesus with the expectation that He would calm the storm, but to let Him know that they were all about to die.
I have never been in a small boat in the midst of a storm, but I have been in circumstances where a figurative storm raged and nothing I did seemed to prevent the inevitable from happening. Like the disciples, I did not know what else to do except to cry…HELP! In the passage of scripture, Jesus rises, rebukes the storm, calms the seas, then asks the disciples why they had such little faith. For, you see, He was with them all the time. Jesus responded to their plea, calmed the storm, and set a foundation for faith in His presence and His unyielding love for them.
The lesson here is obvious. The storms of life rage and you have a very present help in trouble. However, I am drawn to another thought about the story. Jesus was sleeping. God rested on the seventh day of creation. Jesus is noted several times in scripture as withdrawing to rest from His tireless work. I have to admit, there are times where I wonder if God is sleeping when I am in the midst of a storm. Why note, in such an important book, that Jesus slept and rested?
I think it is because He wants us to do the same thing. We become frantic with the demands of life. We become frantic when a storm is bearing down on us. We work and fret and toil trying to fix the problem, trying to find calmer waters and survive the onslaught. He knows how we are. But, in the same circumstances, Jesus slept. He rested so soundly that a brutal storm did not wake Him.
Brothers and sisters, REST. When the next storm of life comes…REST. Who has the power to restore calm? Not you. Only Jesus. Have faith that He has demonstrated His love and power and that He is with you. In the middle of the storm, rest in the faith that He is there. Cry out if you must and know that He hears you and will honor your faith in Him.